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Nolan
Sat, Apr 6, 2019, 12:51am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Masterpiece Society

Woah woah woah, there @Aaron M, cool the thrusters friend. I notice you've been taking umbridge with some o' Jammer's reviews. It's cool you feel so passionately about Trek. But let's not forget that it is an artform and that art is subjective. Everyone's unique lives give them an individual perspective through which they view the media they consume, shaping their thoughts and opinions about them. It's great you can enjoy all those episodes you've mentioned in other reviews, but just cause Jammer disagrees doesn't mean he's trying to convince you that you're wrong. It's just an opinion. No more right or wrong your own. I personally find this episode a bit slow and plodding, but I think it's cool you like it. I'm very interested in what you like about it. But don't get annoyed that we don't see what you see in it. Disagree sure, but don't attack someone for doing so, and please, tell us why you disagree. Inquiring minds wish to know. :-) Cheers!
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Nolan
Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 4:12am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

@Yanks, Dave in MN et, al.
re: Sisko leaving and his race.

On a story and intent level, Dave is right, Sisko leaving to be God and unable to see his family has nothing to do with the character's race. Ira had no thought for the implications when he wrote it. Yet that doesn't necessarily make Yanks wrong either, on a different level.

If I may be allowed to stretch the legs of my Comms degree here, I'd like to look at this scene and exchange about it through a pretty basic "meaning making" theory, (of which there are plently) Saussure's 'theory of the sign'

Saussure posits that a sign (anything communicating meaning beyond it's basic form), is made up of two levels: the signifier (the basic meaning of a sign) and the signified (the deeper meanings attributed to that sign).

A basic example; 'apple'. The word 'apple' is itself a sign, a jumble of letters arranged in a way that calls forth in everyone's mind; your's, mine, the other commenters, Jammer's, the image of an apple. The image in your head of that apple is the *signifier*.

But along with the apple in your head come other meanings, associated with that image: meanings given by the context you, yourself place that image in, largely based on experience and yep, society and culture. How so?

Well, the colours of that apple; green, red, yellow, denote ripeness. But also the taste, texture, and sweetness of that apple. But when looking at an apple, one might also think of education or teachers (giving a teacher an apple at the start of class) or health (an apple a day keeps the doctor away), knowledge and religious connotations (the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil), or even discomfort (an allergy). These deeper meanings come from the world around us, and our experiences, either personal, or societal/cultural. This us the level of the *signified* meaning.

In this way, an object or idea can have multiple meanings, but also *different* meanings based on the readers/viewers/audience's experience. It's why art is subjective and why sites like this exist, to showcase the different meanings found through another's perspective.

But to get back to Sisko leaving his family and what role race plays in the meaning signified.

For viewers who have not grown up in black culture, specifically western "african-american" (quotes used to signify the use of this term here as a generalization of a concept) culture, Sisko having to leave his family and ascending to godhood is a function of the story, the signified meaning that of tragedy and loss. (and perhaps silly writing to tie things up) Surely that is how Ira Behr saw it.

But, for one who DID grow up in black, "african-american" culture, there is likely a different signified meaning. Now, admittedly, I am no expert on this culture, being white myself, but having read a few responses to this plot point from those of other races and WHY it was a sticking point for them I can glean that "black guy leaving his family" is a common cultural trope, one that carries it's own significance for them, one that I would guess, reaches deep into the meaning of identity for those of this culture. Perhaps it says "black men don't care about the wellfare of their family", "black men are irresponsible", or "black kids growing up without a father perpeuates a cycle of poverty and illicit activity" or something negative like that they'd like to be disassociated from their culture, if not in the minds of those outside it, then at least in the minds of those within it.

To see a role model character, one that signifies the best a black man can be, then turn around, whether by choice or by the plot, and do an action that to those living in this culture represents or signifies, a major cultural issue, has gotta sting at the very least.

And, in this way, one can see how race can also create meaning, one that is different from the meanings gleaned, or signified by those of another race.

We can see how a meaning can be found that we may not have made, because we have no context that would've supported or let us understand that meaning. And yet that meaning is there for those with that context.

It's important to note that this is all beyond the level of intention as well, as no artist can account for ALL perspectives or experiences.

And yes, this does sorta touch on all that "representation politics" malarky people can be so touchy about these days, and the huge polarized arguements people are having about, well, not just films, but everything it seems. People ARE looking to find meaning in things, but I think the majority aren't seeing the forests for the trees at this point.

Anyway, I just saw that exchange and thought I could maybe, hopefully clarify it a bit? And share my own perspective. (And actually use the darned degree I paid for)
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Nolan
Thu, Mar 28, 2019, 4:35am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

Oh Daybreak... You flawed masterpiece. Still affecting to me, even if I experienced a strange detachment from the rest of the series my last rewatch. (Probably what 8x through gets you)

The action was great, the image of Centurions and humans stalking the Colony's halls together, both striking and forwarning the melding of species to come.

Coulda used more Viper action in that final battle, but I know the writers were struggling to write combat scenes at this point (contrast to some anime, which can seem to pull it off every fpisode, relevant or not), but launching Vipers WAS Galactica's main purpose.

I feel this finale does lays some decent groundwork for a follow up. Heck, there's a whole universe of stories to be told. My dresm would be an anthology series. Focus a couple seasons on Caprica and the rise of the Cylons, the first War, a couple seasons on Kobol, it's fall and the character of Pythia herself (who, according to a theory I read, was an ancestor of Kara's), and a couple of seasons about the rise and fall of Atlantis on Earth II (some ships and tech snuck down to the planet) - helping to explain the spread of cultural ideas and mythology into what we know as Ancient Greece.

'Course, part of me likes to imagine that in the intervening 150,000 years, life was seeded on other plants, the free Centurions experimented with organic life again, trying to achieve perfection and became the Borg, the Star Trek eventually happened.

Oh, and Kobol was settled by the human-like aliens and their Droids who took a long pilgrimage from a galaxy far away, a long, long times ago in oder to escape the Star Wars. Hah. It's all connected.

Yes for 200 comments, all really insightful, and great discussion! Great job on such an enduring site Jammer!
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Nolan
Tue, Mar 26, 2019, 6:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Broken Bow

This was always a forgetable pilot for me. I saw it when it aired when I was just entering into teenagerdom, and I've more-or-less autopiloted through it on rewatch (I DO like ENT as a series)

However, after striking a deal with my friend to learn how to play the keyboard so I could be in his extemely low commitment fantasy band, he agreed to watch Star Trek, which I'd hounded him to do for years. 1 hr of keys for 1 hr of Trek.

I started with Enterprise. I was curious to see how a chronological newbie watch would go. We watched the pilot. He liked it. It went against his pre-concieved notion of what Star Trek was. (Which apparently was Voyager - so ringing endorsement there)

He liked it so much in fact, that when my DVD started skipping (attempts to clean it have thouroghly wrecked it, gonna see if I can get a replacement) he took it upon himself to finish the 2nd half of the pilot.

We're only two episodes in (he questioned Hoshi picking up an alien language that quick) but I think he'll stick with it. I do plan on skipping episodes, giving him an abbreviated Trek, cause when Trek goes bad, it goes BAD. He DOES say he wants to watch it all though... I planned to skip "Unexpected" for example, but I dunno... we'll see how it goes.
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Nolan
Tue, Feb 19, 2019, 12:31am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 (April Fools Version)

Well @jack, you posted 2 years ago, and now here I am, having just finished another rewatch of the series (From Caprica on, no less) and thought I'd look in here on a whim. Once again I found myself struck by this finale, and this time it was by the finality off it. Sure it ends with the start of OUR chapter, but the chapter, the stories of the Battlestar Galactica and her characters are over. And it leaves you with an empty spot, knowing that its over. Like Kara said about the song, "It makes you happy and sad, all at the same time.", much like "the best ones do."

Though I do think this universe is ripe for so many more stories to be told. From Kobol, to the life on the Colonies, the initial Cylon uprising and even perhaps life after the finale, with the creation and then loss of Atlantis and the intergration of these three cultures.

But as a final note, this ain't that bad to me. (Even if others hate it)

[Also, woohoo! 400!]
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Nolan C
Sun, Aug 26, 2018, 7:35am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Drive

Yes I know this is a response to a post made years ago. But I have to ask @ Cloudane... what in the world are you talking about in this post? You don’t mention the subject and you don’t even tell us who ‘he’ is??

“Don't know if it's ever been confirmed, but I always thought it was meant to be the same person. I remember he had a remarkably similar backstory about having done something stupid that led to the death of his team mate, or am I misremembering. They changed his name because Nick Locarno was already claimed by another series, or some such.”
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Nolan C
Wed, Aug 22, 2018, 3:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Barge of the Dead

Why are there no seat belts in the Trek universe. Especially on the shuttles?
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Nolan C
Sun, Aug 12, 2018, 11:42am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: The Q and the Grey

How could you not mention Harve Presnell in your review? The guy’s a serious Hollywood/Broadway actor. I’m really surprised Trek got him, but it was a delight to see.
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Nolan C
Sat, Aug 11, 2018, 6:17am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: The Chute

Could not disagree more about Neelix being well used and not annoying in this story. He was the one thing I hated about this episode. Everyone is on board and it’s time to GTFO and he’s asking Janeway if she needs anything, like what? Refreshments? Dude shut up and go. And then he gets all this screen time to brag about his piloting? Neelix, STFU! I can’t stand him. Worse than Wesley Crusher by far.
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Nolan C
Thu, Aug 9, 2018, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

Hated it. Maybe because I hate Neelix so much. Why so much f’ing Neelix this season? Every time he speaks I just wish he would STFU. I can’t stand him. I do think Tuvix was well acted. But just to be clear, I think the highlight of the VOY series is when Tuvok strangled the bastard. Too bad it was only hologram.
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Nolan C
Thu, Aug 9, 2018, 1:17am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Lifesigns

Jammer I love your reviews, but I notice you always mention the directors name. In this one you talk about Cliff Bole’s ‘calm direction’. How do you know that? How do you know he’s calm? It just feels like name-dropping... Sorry if I’m being rude, I really value your reviews.
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Nolan Campbell
Sat, Jul 21, 2018, 5:44am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

I don’t understand all the negative comments about Nog becoming a Captain. It’s been well established that he’s exceptionally smart and desires to persue a Starfleet career. So... 30/40 years later, why would this not be possible? Oh, because he looks different or because he’s short. What does that say about you? Think about that.
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Nolan Campbell
Mon, Jul 16, 2018, 12:28am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Fascination

lwaxana Troi, Keiko O’Brian, A 16 year old boy going after someone nearly twice his age, and a whole lot of Bajoran ritual bullshit. A perfect combo for a loser episode. Cringeworthy at every turn. Particularly Keiko. Did the writers intentially want us to hate her? If so it’s working. This is half a star at most. Maybe the worst episode so far.
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Nolan Campbell
Sun, Jul 15, 2018, 7:52am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Equilibrium

I just want to tell this community... I was in a motorcycle accident three weeks ago. In my recovery I’ve binge watched all of TNG and this far in DS9. After each episode I love reading this review and the comments. I have so much respect for the cordial discourse and dialogue that occurs here. Sometimes people don’t agree, but they don’t resort to ad hominem assault. I find the discussions intellectually stimulating. Thanks for being here! Keep on Trekking!
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Nolan
Sun, Mar 18, 2018, 4:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: All Our Yesterdays

@MarkG

Early example of interstellar Vulcan telepathy? Plus, given that they would've been excessively violent rage monsters, maybe their feelings were just that strong to reach that far. Haha.
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Nolan
Sun, Mar 18, 2018, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: A Matter of Perspective

@William H. & Peter G.

In contrast this is a low-key favorite of mine that I look forward to rewatching. Partially for it's examination of how different people will interpret the same situation through their own narrative as the 'hero', something I'm more and more aware of as I get more into adulthood. It's basically how 'me too' happened. Guys seeing things one way, women another.

But if I'm honest, I like this episode so much because I find the Apgar version so over-the-top, hammy and overacted that it's incredibly hilarious. Especially Frakes delivery of "You're a dead man Apgar! A dead man!"
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Nolan
Thu, Mar 1, 2018, 11:56am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: All Our Yesterdays

@Mark G

I dunno about your other points, but I think the deal with Spock, and I can't remember it it's said in the episode, is that his behaviour is being affected by the thoughts/feelings of Vulcans of the era, who are telepathicaly projecting those feelings, and Spock is picking up on them.
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Nolan
Wed, Feb 28, 2018, 12:50am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Minefield

Nice to know people still haven't figured out how to disagree with a subjective opinion without coming across as smug, superior minded or by being an outright jerk. (Guess I won't be learning how to do that here =P ) Espescially to the person hosting and taking the time to maintain a site even though the occasional ingrate who doesn't note the date of the review, the context it was written in or how time may have changed perseptions shows up.

FYI, I always liked this episode. It's one of the few Romulan based episodes when the franchise was struggling to bear the weight of obnoxious Klingon mania. I really wish the series got to develop their Romulan story more, they're criminally under used and often poorly implimented. Plus it's a decent exploration of Reed and how he views his Captain. And it's got nice continuity with the next episode in a way Voyager tended to avoid, so there's that novelty.

In contrast Carbon Creek has always been 'okay' for me. Not one I'd ever raise a needless fuss over, or rate poorly.
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Nolan
Thu, Feb 22, 2018, 4:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang

Heh, the tune in the background when Vic's gets taken over was also used for the "Enchantment Under the Sea" dance at one point in Bakc to the Futurethought I'd mention it.
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Nolan
Wed, Feb 21, 2018, 4:10am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Thought I'd wade in on the first season dicussion with my thoughts. Being in the process of watching through all Star Trek chronologically (excepting Discovery of course, like it fits anyway) and nearly finished DS9 and over halfway through Voyager, which I hadn't seen in a very long time, I felt that of all the first seasons, Voyager's felt the most consistant. It actually showed good promise. And had decent episode to episode continuity and call backs. Shame it didn't last. But for a show I'd regarded as being my least favorite of the franchise, it was a pleasent surprise.
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Nolan
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 7:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

... huh.
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Nolan
Sat, Feb 10, 2018, 1:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Shadows and Symbols

Something I didn't see mentioned is how Kira's plot is a reflection of her plotline in "Emissary" A potential occupier has come to Bajor, and through turns of events, mistrust and arrogance, Kira must face down this force with her own limited resources. In both episodes the conflict is resolved after the wormhole opens and a Starfleet officer asks Kira to remind them not to play cards with her due to here ability to bluff.

This isn't a simple retread however, oh no. In "Emissary" Kira was facing off against the Cardassians, who for Bajor are the big bad guys, but are lets be honest, a second rate power. Here, both she and Bajor have grown to the point they're facing off against one of The Big Three Alpha Quadrent powers.

In this episode the conflict is resolved without firing a shot, whereas in "Emissary" the Cardassians did some damage to the station.

Now, while in both episodes the situation was resolved by a Starfleet officer. However in Emissary those on the Station were trying to buy time for a Fed ship to rescue them, here Kira is on her own. In Emissary the situation is resolved by the fortuitous return of Sisko. In this episode it is Kira herself that affects the outcome.

She's also way less aggressive and angry here. This plot really shows how far she and Bajor have come.
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Nolan
Sun, Feb 4, 2018, 5:27am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

Sigh... I did have a thohght about how the use of a 'time warp' in "The Cage" could, along with the spore drive indicate that in this era Starfleet were experimenting with new propulsion methods, but I see that climate wars opened a new front here.

Remember, data can be manipulated and thrown on graphs to represent anything, question the extent and longevity of the trends being represented is the data based on recorded climate patterns which only go as far back as we thought to start recording them, or analysis of the various rock strata dating back to prehistory?

Remember also; the truth of a debate lies in following the money, of who benefits finacially most or is at risk of losing more if wrong. If a scientist is wrong, they write a paper about how the data didn't match the hypothesis and move on to a new one. They get grant money either way.

Consider Mercury, despite being closer to the Sun, is 20°F cooler than Venus, which is twice as far from the Sun, but has an atmosphere thick with greenhouse gases, of which CO2 belongs to. One could almost say that Venus has some pretty extreme weather, considering it's hot enough to melt iron.

Consider also that even if Climate Change isn't happening, the benefits of green technology built to combat it would in terms of air quality, renewable resources and power distribution across the class divides, be worth the hassle of changing the technology that shapes our lives anyway. Are you saying you WANT to live in smog choked cities? No, no one is, that'd be insane. But the only way to avoid that is with green tech.

So why argue? It all just boils down to who you'd rather give your money to. And those guys taking your money, they don't care that you think you're right, or that you won an internet argument. They only care about getting the only green that matters to them. Yours.
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Nolan
Tue, Jan 30, 2018, 12:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@Shannon

Yes, it was sooo gratifiying to see my whole paragraphs long, thought out and perhaps even eloquint spiel about frusterated Trek fans, finding common ground and working together to be so succinctly encapsulated, eviserated and deflated in a rapid-fire string of vulgarity-laden sentances.

Thanksss... -_-
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Nolan
Tue, Jan 30, 2018, 4:23am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@ anthimos112, Shannon, LJ, et al;

It seems you are possibly unfamiliar with "hate-watching" and "hatedoms". Basically the act of watching or consuming a piece of media with the express purpose of ragging on it. It's been a few semesters since I took my Audience and Reception course, so you'll have to forgive me for being a bit sketchy on the details.

But hate-watching is an outgrowth of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 formula, i.e, watching something to make fun of it. A notable recent example of this would be The Room, which I'm sure you've heard of. Its entire fanbase grew solely out of people sharing and making fun of this awful movie. There is a camaraderie found in picking apart and hating on articles of entertainment and having your opinion on that article agreed upon by a group.

Just as there is when you love a show and share it and possibly enter into its fandom.

Now, there is not just one reason for a hatedom to develop, that of making fun of legitimately bad film/shows that "deserve" it, but also from fans of a media franchise who feel so attached to it, who feel a deep connection to this article of pop culture that they feel they must hold it up to a certain standard, based on their personal experiences with it and whether or not any additions reach them on that personal level. And they continue to watch out of optimisim and hope that the show will manage in some way to live up to those standards they hold it against.

I believe this is the type of hatedom you are most likely enountering here. Those who hold Star Trek up as an ideal, and don't feel that ideal is being met. Who don't feel as connected to this new addition as in days gone by. And that frusterates them. So instead they forge that connection with other like-minded fans, and in that way they enjoy the show. Not for the show itself, but for the connection it gives them to other fans.

There is no "right way" to watch and enjoy a show, and perhaps those who don't like it should try and refrain from making complaints that insinuate insults towards fans that do. But to grow angry at them for finding whatever enjoyment out of the show they can, for not seeing the hope behind their critical comments is to ignore and potentially attack THEIR personal journey, just as you surely must've felt wading through countless nitpicks.

As I said in my comment above, one of the things I think this episode presented was a look at how those of different ideologies interact and relate to each other. So are you, like Burnham and Lorca, going to argue and fight with those who constantly critique the show because you don't see eye to eye, or are you going to do what Georgiou and Burnham did and find some common ground and work together to get through the rest of the season? ;-)

Are we team Star Trek, or aren't we? Because that's the key, we all love and feel a connection to Trek, regardless of the different personal ways we're drawn to it. And that its touched so many in a myriad of different ways is why it's great. And I think we can all agree on that.
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